Redistricting Legislation

Voters should choose their representatives—representatives shouldn’t choose their voters. We’re fighting to make sure that districts are based on communities, not political aspirations. 


2023 Legislation

AB 1248 (Bryan – Culver City) (B. Allen – Santa Monica)
California Common Cause is sponsoring this Legislation

Summary: Independent redistricting commissions lead the most participatory, most inclusive, and most transparent redistricting processes, centering the needs of people and communities at the heart of the process – not the needs of politicians. This bill would require all counties, cities, school districts, and community college districts with a population over 300,000 to establish an independent redistricting commission before March 1, 2030. Jurisdictions that fail to establish their own independent redistricting commission by the deadline would be required to utilize a more detailed commission structure, rules, and procedures outlined in state law. Additionally, AB 1248 would prohibit commissioners from engaging in ex parte communications and require the State Auditor to help connect applicants to the state commission who are no longer being considered with potential opportunities to serve on local redistricting commissions, in order to promote large and diverse commissioner pools.

AB 764 (Bryan – Culver City)
California Common Cause is sponsoring this Legislation

Summary: 2019’s Fair Maps Act (FMA) was the first significant reform of California’s local redistricting law since the 1940s. Sponsored by California Common Cause, it created standardized, fair redistricting criteria that helped keep communities together and prohibited partisan gerrymandering. Now that the first redistricting cycle under the FMA has concluded, the experiences of community members, community-based organizations, and good government groups have been taken into consideration to further the FMA’s ability to help achieve equitable representation across the state. AB 764 would strengthen the FMA’s redistricting criteria, administrative requirements, public engagement requirements, and transparency measures, and would extend its protections to large educational districts, and extend specified key provisions, such as redistricting criteria, to special districts and small educational districts.

2020 Legislation

Local Redistricting

AB 1276 (Bonta – Oakland)
California Common Cause sponsored this Legislation

Summary: A fair city and county redistricting process, with sufficient time for public input and drawing maps, is important to building representative and inclusive democracy at the local level. This bill would make necessary changes to the timeline for the local redistricting process established in AB 849 (Bonta), a landmark reform bill which passed in 2019. AB 1276 would require maps to be adopted up to 205 days before the election, as opposed to 151 days under current law, allowing sufficient time for both drawing maps and for candidates to run for office in the new districts. The bill would also extend the local redistricting timeline to account for delays in Census data reporting due to the COVID-19 pandemic and would make other technical and clarifying changes to AB 849.

2019 Legislation

The People’s Maps Act

SB 139 (B. Allen – Santa Monica)
California Common Cause sponsored this Legislation

Summary: The People’s Maps Act would require California’s largest counties that have over 250,000 residents to establish independent redistricting commissions to draw county supervisorial lines. Based on California’s gold standard model of redistricting, this bill would strip county supervisors of the power to draw their own lines and would give an independent body of citizens the power to draw maps, with public input.

The Fair Maps Act

AB 849 (Bonta – Alameda)
California Common Cause sponsored this Legislation

Summary: The Fair Maps Act is the first significant reform of California local redistricting law since the 1940s. Modeled off the requirements already in place for State redistricting, this bill creates standardized, fair redistricting criteria that keeps communities together and prohibits partisan gerrymandering. It also requires local governments to engage communities in the redistricting process by holding public hearings. This bill would also better align the local redistricting timeline to allow for more opportunities for public participation in the map drawing process.

2018 Legislation

Independent Redistricting Commissions

SB 1018 (B. Allen – Santa Monica)
California Common Cause sponsored this Legislation

Summary:  Current law allows cities and counties, but no other local government, to set up independent commissions. SB 1018 would authorize school districts and special districts to set up independent commissions. The bill also clarifies that commissions may be used for an initial districting, makes commissions easier to adopt, and authorizes cities to contract with their county to have the county’s independent redistricting commission draw the city’s districts. Finally, SB 1018 protects best practice by prohibiting independent commissions from drawing lines to benefit or discriminate against a political party.

California Voting Rights Act Reform

SB 2123 (Cervantes – Corona)
California Common Cause sponsored this Legislation with the League of Cities

Summary: SB 2123 would grant a 90-day extension to cities sued in California Voting Rights Act claims, so that they have more time to transition from at-large to by-district elections. It can be very difficult, in only the 90 days currently allowed by law, for a local government or civil rights or community-based organizations to identify underrepresented communities, educate them about districting and its importance, and encourage and facilitate their participation in the process. The extra 3 months will allow for greater community engagement and education in the initial districting process.

Next Campaign

Citizens Redistricting Commission